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Exclusive: Impact agency Picture Motion hires former FilmRise exec

Former FilmRise executive Ellis Watamanuk has joined New York-headquartered marketing and advocacy firm Picture Motion as VP of impact distribution. In the new role, Watamanuk will be responsible for overseeing the ...
July 18, 2018

Former FilmRise executive Ellis Watamanuk has joined New York-headquartered marketing and advocacy firm Picture Motion as VP of impact distribution.

In the new role, Watamanuk will be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of national screening tours and event-based campaigns for the company.

An integral arm of Picture Motion’s work, the impact distribution team has spearheaded screenings and events on acclaimed titles like the Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning 13th; Epix docuseries America Divided; and National Geographic’s Before the Flood.

Watamanuk joins Picture Motion from Brooklyn-based film and TV distributor FilmRise, where he most recently served as VP of distribution after rising from director of digital distribution. During his four-year tenure at FilmRise, Watamanuk oversaw the release campaigns for such documentaries as James Solomon’s The Witness and Kennedy Marshall’s Finding Oscar.

Prior to that, he worked as a publicist on films, including on Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s groundbreaking 2013 documentary Blackfish, which was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.

Founded in 2012, Picture Motion works with filmmakers and change makers to raise awareness around issue-driven films. The company has outposts in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC, and handles partnership developments, grassroots screening tours, digital engagement, policy and government relations and impact measurement.

“At Picture Motion we believe in the power of film to move audiences to action,” said Christie Marchese, founder and CEO of Picture Motion, in a statement. “This often means creating distribution strategies that utilize non-traditional spaces in order to bring powerful, brilliant films directly to audiences that want to and need to see it most. We’re excited for Ellis to join us in these efforts.”

“As the landscape of film continues to evolve, so does our work in bringing them to the right audiences, in the right ways, at the right time to fully optimize both impact and commercial return,” added Picture Motion president Wendy Cohen. “We are thrilled Ellis has joined our team to grow this division as we navigate in this ever-changing industry.”

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